According to the Small Business Administration, there are a little over 30 million small businesses in the United States. While the definition of a small business is less than 500 employees, over 98% of the 30 million small businesses have fewer than 100 employees with 70% of those owned and operated by a single person. Payscale reports over 86% of small business owners take a salary of less than $100,000 annually.
Why do these statistics matter to you?
The small business statistics above look at the totality of small businesses without respect to a particular industry; however, as an accounting professional how do these statistics relate to your practice?
The reality is that most businesses struggle to find capacity and generate wealth. Even though accounting professionals provide necessary services to small businesses, many of them struggle to build their own businesses and achieve the success they desire.
Each year, I go to the doctor for a wellness check-up, because I like to take the proactive, instead of reactive, position to ensure I stay healthy. A recent visit led to a follow-up call informing me that my cholesterol was not at normal levels and my doctor wanted me to immediately start medication. I held off on the medicine. Instead, I began a deep study to learn about the causes and all of the treatments available.
I learned that while high cholesterol can be hereditary, diet plays a key role. Therefore, I counseled my doctor to supervise a change in my diet prior to starting medication to see if I could improve my numbers. Changing my diet was a daunting task, but I found a nutritional coach.
This was the first time that I personally experienced just how beneficial professional coaching is to reaching your goals. Achieving my results would have taken a lot longer if left to my own devices because the learning and execution would have been difficult. Instead, my nutritional coach helped me create measurable goals and a customized plan tailored just for me. And then he helped hold me accountable.
Are you struggling to achieve professional success? There are a plethora of learning resources available today, which means you can search the web and find whatever content you seek. Some content is very helpful, but you must first ensure the information is correct and then spend additional effort on implementation. For example, you can research how to create a legal agreement, but consulting a lawyer helps you get there faster and ensures you are compliant with the laws without questions.
So, if you are struggling to achieve your professional success, the answer just may be to engage a coach.
What are the benefits of rowing with a coach?
While there are benefits to self-learning, nothing compares to the many benefits of engaging a professionals coach to help you. The best coaches will help you create meaningful goals and a customized plan. Then they will hold you accountable.
1. Meaningful Goals
Understanding who you are and identifying the north star of your business allow you to define the right, measurable goals to achieve your business success. By working with a coach, you will learn to ask the right questions leading you to the why, how, and what for your business, what I call your vision, mission, and purpose.
Your coach will intentionally guide you through this discovery process, and then use the results to help you define measurable goals leading to the desired outcomes. Only when your goals are clear can you move on to the next step which is creating a strategic plan.
2. Customized Strategic Plan
Strategic planning defines the operating procedures you will need to attain the goals you set. Unfortuantely, the idea of building a strategic plan might be daunting.
A professional business coach has the experience to provide you with frameworks for creating your strategic plan based on your business goals. Most importantly, a coach knows that this must be a customized plan based on your business and your goals and not a one size fits all.
The process of creating your strategic plan requires you to focus and work hard, but with a coach, you won’t be alone. Your coach provides the necessary guidance to complete the process.
And once your plan is in place and you start working on it, your coach continues to work alongside you. When a bump in the road occurs, your coach is there to work with you to find the appropriate solution.
3. Being Held Accountable
Often, the tyranny of the urgent sets in, and we may become more like firefighters, putting out the daily fires instead of focusing on the tasks that are essential to building our business. We may not achieve what we want or need in many cases because of the lack of accountability. It is hard to hold ourselves accountable. Although you can find an “accountability partner”, it can be hard to trust people and allow them the right to question in a meaningful way.
When you hire a coach, they aren’t there to harp on you in a negative way, but to provide encouragement to stay motivated and keep your attention on what really matters. You do not have to row the boat by yourself but have an experienced professional who focuses on your best interests for your success. Your coach challenges you in a good way to follow through on your customized plans and achieve your goals.
The value of coaching rests in the benefit of accountability. It is hard to maintain the required focus and motivation to make the necessary changes to achieve what you really want. If it were easy, then you wouldn’t be still reading this article!
How can you find a business coach?
There has never been more powerful a time than today to look for a strong coach or coaching program to help you discover your goals, create a customized strategic plan, and have the necessary accountability so you can find a greater level of success. The sad reality is that getting caught in the perpetual circles of the hamster wheel just won't end until you decide to take the plunge and do something different than what you are currently doing.
At Woodard, we have our own coaching program, known as the Paraclete Program. A paraclete (ancient Greek) is one who comes alongside for the whole of the journey and that is exactly what our coaches are.
Each coach is a veteran accounting or bookkeeping practice leader who not only knows how to build a successful practice but also knows how to work alongside other professionals to coach them to success. In fact, our goal as a paraclete is for you to generate three times your financial investment in the Paraclete Program during the first year!
To help you find your own business coach, feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, you are also welcome to schedule time with me for a one-on-one conversation – just click on this link.
I sincerely hope that today is your today to find a coach to help you reach your goals.